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There is no mention of 'the side' in the part that precedes this sentence. I don't see why the author says 'to the side,' not 'to a side' or 'to one side'? To me it looks like there are two sides to the head, and like you can't just come right out and say 'to the side.' Don't people ask 'which side'?

I could probably count on the fingers of my hands --- maybe the fingers of one hand --- the number of serious conversations that Chuck and I ever had. With us, everything was always laughter. The way I usually explained it to people was that with Chuck, when we were boys, it came down to this: You could tell him that the world was going to end at midnight, and he'd probably just toss his head to the side and then say, "Let's go to the Toddle House for cheeseburgers and banana cream pie." ('And you Know You Should Be Glad' by Bob Greene)

Would it sound unnatural if it were 'to one side' here?
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Hi,

There is no mention of 'the side' in the part that precedes this sentence. I don't see why the author says 'to the side,' not 'to a side' or 'to one side'? To me it looks like there are two sides to the head, and like you can't just come right out and say 'to the side.' Don't people ask 'which side'?

I could probably count on the fingers of my hands --- maybe the fingers of one hand --- the number of serious conversations that Chuck and I ever had. With us, everything was always laughter. The way I usually explained it to people was that with Chuck, when we were boys, it came down to this: You could tell him that the world was going to end at midnight, and he'd probably just toss his head to the side and then say, "Let's go to the Toddle House for cheeseburgers and banana cream pie." ('And you Know You Should Be Glad' by Bob Greene)

Think of 'to the side' as a fixed expression that adds a litle style to what is being said. It is often used in cases where we know there are various sides and it does not matter which one we are referring to.

Would it sound unnatural if it were 'to one side' here? No, it would be fine. But 'to a side' would sound very unnatural.

Best wishes, Clive
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So Bob Greene does not care to which way Chuck would toss his head, I see. My first reaction was I wondered if one of the two sides was somehow occupied so there was only one side he would throw his head to. But that was unrealistic --- it can't have been that way all the time.

This thinking may apply if he held the receiver of a phone between his shoulder and his ear. There was only one side he could tilt his head to. You could only say "He tossed his head to the side."

Hiro
But then he's drop the phone.Emotion: nodding
Not, to a certain degree, if he pushes the shoulder up as he tilts his head.Emotion: smile
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